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Imaging Hack – The Panda & The Penguin - Driving Traffic

Imaging Hack – The Panda & The Penguin

By on December 12, 2012
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The days of bland text driven websites is over. Websites are now expected to be a multimedia experience, and if you blog and do not use featured images for your posts; you are making a mistake that could potentially hurt your rank. Now, I know this sounds like common sense, but the presence of a picture on your site isn’t the sole solution here.

Let’s talk about the importance of unique content. There was a time when you could post other sites content (also known as auto-blogging or … stealing)(on a side note, I am not knocking curation blogs, there is still some really effective ways of using curation but that is the topic for another article), and your site would be jam packed with tons of content very quickly and effortlessly. At one time this was pretty effective for boosting the rank of your site. Just like how teachers and professors have applications to see how much of the Wikipedia article you stole, search engines can also determine how unique and original your site content is.

What you might not know is that, search engines analyze these images too. What that means is google has the ability to “look” at your image and determine how unique it is. Most bloggers just run a quick search on google images and save one of the first ones that come up to use as their featured images..


Have you ever used tineye? For those of you that haven’t you can upload an image from your computer, and it will find all the sites out there that also have that same image posted. Think of how that looks to a search engine, it appears to them that you are just jumping on the bandwagon producing the same rehashed content as these other 500 websites. Some bloggers will take an extra step and crop the image so that at least the dimensions are different and maybe that will make the image appear unique or maybe renaming it will throw them off… Think again.. Check out Light Shot[ http://app.prntscr.com/ ] you can highlight just a small portion of an image and it will still be able to identify it and come back with all the sites that are using it.

You might be saying, well that’s all well and good Kevin, but I am not a photoshop wiz and I don’t have time to crank out my own self drawn cat picture for every single post I make. Well here is a trick that will take you 3 minutes that will show google that you are producing your own unique images and content.

  1. As you normally would use whatever image search you’d like, and find the perfect plagiarized image (provided you can legally use it).
  2. Make it full screen on your laptop or monitor
  3. Take a cell phone picture of your screen, you can get as artsy as you want with this, just so long you can still tell what the image is.
  4. Fire up instragram, and toss your favorite hipster-esque filter on top of the photo.
  5. Post the image to your instagram feed, remember to include the URL back to the article using that image.
  6. Save that image from instagram, and use it as your featured image


There you have it, a short 6-step process, to turn your originally bland pirated image, into a unique & cool looking picture. Not only that, you are getting a backlink and social traffic to your blog post.

You will be surprised how much extra credibility this earns you, because now you are producing new image content, instead of rehashing the same old pic that everyone else uses for that subject matter.  Visitors want to look at sites that are ascetically pleasing, and that have attention grabbing images. Spend a few extra minutes on your graphics and you will see the reward.

About Kevin Clanton

Kevin Clanton is part of the new generation of Internet marketers, originally starting his career as a programmer obsessed with all things information / technology. Online Marketing has quickly become his primary focus; where he is able to leverage his background in development to implement his dreams & ideas in order to quickly produce data on their effectiveness. Google Kevin has an intense drive to be as well rounded as possible in his business pursuits. He isn’t satisfied until he has a firm understanding of all aspects of a given business strategy.


  1. Mari

    December 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    What about re-brandable pdf reports for affiliate offers that are uploaded on the website? Will it negatively affect SEO?

    • Kevin Clanton

      January 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      I would need a little more information to make an assessment.
      But my knee jerk reaction is, “no” it shouldn’t negatively impact your ranking.

  2. Chris

    December 16, 2012 at 5:12 am

    Hmmm, problem is for us in the web industry is we rely on imagery from stock photo websites as content fillers or part of the design where companies do not have images themselves. I never seen it become a problem for clients ranking.
    I know a little a about image compression and possibly its the similar kind of algo which examines the pixel placements for compression and for duplication identification. Its quite some beautiful mathematics.
    However, I feel the need for perfect seo is being stretched a bit too far here. Take a popular vantage point for say in NYC for the Statue of Liberty…..if published there must be millions of photos taken and many of then have identicle features within those compositions.
    I usually rename the files, clear any exif data and resize them using jpg compression, possibly crop and thats how far I go to make it with a unique timestamp. Even if it is plagerism!

    But I think its a grrat tip linking from Pininterest to your site images. It creates authenticity from a trusted website at least for the images.

  3. Randall

    December 15, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    It’s not every day you get to see something “ascetically pleasing”.

  4. Marina Aagaard

    December 14, 2012 at 2:26 am

    Thank you for posting some really surprising, interesting and inspiring posts. Really helpful.
    Having read the text and comments; with the (to me advanced) knowledge and work required for changing pictures, though … maybe it is easier just to take your own pictures/snapshots?!

  5. Ivena

    December 13, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Great info, we are starting to use images on the blog my husband set up yesterday on my website for our cleaning service in Naples, Florida.. He created all the content banners and images from picture we had taken. I hope this works like the videos did for our company.. Check us out Ivena’s Cleaning Naples…. Thanks please keep content like this flowing we need it for our business.. You guys are great….

  6. Rollie Cole

    December 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Of course, you could, if all else fails, actually contribute a new image. With smartphone and tablet cameras, all of us have a device that we can use to snap photos of anything and everything that contributes to our message. For instance, my web site [very much under costruction] is “fertile ground for startups.” So I am always looking for examples of “fertile ground” that I can snap (with my Android smartphone) and then use Instagram to crop and apply various filters. Say your theme has something to do with “new” or “old” or “health” or “whatever,” you could do the same thing.

  7. Richard Petrillo

    December 13, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Awesome tips Kevin, thanks! Katrina makes a good point too about pinning it. At one time this was a good way of getting a PR7 backlink, but I’ve heard that Pinterest in now NoFollow… Can you shed any light on that?
    Also, I am curious if “Alt Tags” are no longer as important as they once were? I notice you don’t have one on your image.
    Thanks for these great tips, I will be looking forward to your next post!

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 13, 2012 at 11:46 am

      Thanks for the well thought out comments.
      How great is that when PR7 level site allows do follow links… Those do-follow link spots tend to not stick around long, (and change to no follow).
      So the main difference there between do follow and no follow is the amount of “link-juice” you are getting from the link.
      A no follow is still useful and can still help you, but not as much as a do follow.
      It is purely for robots/search engines (and SEO people).
      Something else to keep in mind is the page rank of the actual page vs the PR of the domain. There is a difference there, and sometimes a PR7 domain, will have a URL PR of 0. But it can still be useful.

      Alt tags do still matter, and file names too. Especially if it is a custom / original image.
      But really I am not sure how much gravity they hold.
      Best practice is to use alt tags, I certainly need to be better about that..

      Thanks again for contributing,

      • Richard Petrillo

        December 14, 2012 at 3:14 am

        Thank you Kevin for taking the time to explain everything in plain English! :) It’s awesome to get so much information right here in the comment section. Really, Thank-You!

        I’ve been noticing the different PR rankings on pages vs the domain. Installing SEO Quake was the best thing I’ve done in a long time. I’m not sure what took me so long.

        I’m glad to hear that Alt tags still hold some weight. I’ve been working on that for awhile now. Your tips here on creating a custom image by using Instagram etc. is golden! I will be implementing that from now on.

        All the best to you sir!

  8. Katerina

    December 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    You can also take an image that is of course, public domain or creative commons license with permissions, download it on your desktop if you are on a mac, drag it into keynote, add text to the image- hyperlink it with inspector, add it to your website and the go to your pinterest account and pin your blog post on your blog board. This way the photo turns up with text on it on your pinterest board.

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 12, 2012 at 7:00 pm


      Very cool idea. Thank you very much for posting it.
      That might actually drive more better qualified social traffic than instagram.

      Thank you for contributing!

  9. Jen McGahan

    December 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Oooh! Brilliant, Kevin! Thanks.

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      You are very welcome.

  10. Mike

    December 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    How about just reversing the picture in photoshop, maybe using a nice colour filter too. Wouldnt that work?

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      Great Idea.
      I think any unique element you can add to a photo you found via google images (or any other place that might have commonly used pictures), is a vast improvement.
      Even if you aren’t a photoshop ninja, just adding something different and interesting will help w/ engagement (and google images traffic, which is a bonus).

      Don’t forget the image title, alt text, and a descriptive file name!

      Thanks for the insight Mike

  11. Jeremy Maher

    December 12, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Great tip on going full screen and using your camera phone to snap the pic and use Instagram. It’s amazing the SE can see if your image has been used before! Looking forward to the next article.

  12. Kevin

    December 12, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Good article Kevin!

    Eye opening. It is amazing that Light Shot will find pictures around the web, no matter how we try to “crop” them. Just a couple of extra minutes creating “new” photos is time well spent for any Internet marketing specialist or for any web site owner.

    Looking forward to your next post… Keep up the good work!

    I was just thinking that adding a picture that you have used this method on might be a good idea. Especially since the post is promoting the importance of pictures. Just trying to be helpful!

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      Ya, it is kinda silly that I published it without the image..
      It is on there now, I used this method with a touch of Photoshop filtering..

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